Trevor Mires/Nathaniel Cross' "Cypher Nutria" (with Sam Leak, Tom Hancock, Hugh Wilkinson, Pat Levett)

“…a great pleasure to play with…a creative musician who plays with great time feel and beautiful tone” Sam Leak

“…reliable, consummate, and versatile… fluent and innovative jazz vocabulary” – Kevin C. McDonald, Drummer, U.S. Navy Band Commodores

“…his musicality, studies, and technique transcended [the electric bass]… his voice is singular on his instrument” Brad Linde, co-founder/director, Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra

“…a crack rhythm section… rollicking swing” – Washington DC City Paper

In Leeds, Washington DC and now London, John’s sight-reading, ear and distinctive sound have led to work from jazz, big bands and pit orchestras to pop and avant-garde. Originally an electric-bass specialist, he now performs regularly on the upright as well.

In Washington DC, John became house bassist for the Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra led by Joe Herrera and Brad Linde, including rep concerts under Miho Hazama and Nathan Parker Smith. He recorded for Linde’s avant-garde/Americana project Team Players with Billy Wolfe, Aaron Quinn and Deric Dickens, and played alongside David McDonald (Airmen of Note), Kevin McDonald (US Navy Commodores), Marty Nau, Anthony Pirog, and others.

In Leeds, John was bassist and MD for the Leeds University Union Big Band, including performances at the North Sea Jazz Festival and on ITV. He performed regularly with stalwarts of the Northern England scene such as Steve HanleyMartin Longhawn and Ben Lowman.

Since arriving in London, highlights include Morgan Brothers Big Band, a Trevor Mires/Nathaniel Cross project (with Sam Leak, Tom Hancock, Pat Levett, Hugh Wilkinson and Rod Youngs), Hannes Riepler, Gene Calderazzo, and others, alongside regular ad hoc engagements.

John arranges for big bands, has worked at Sibelius, served as a copyist for the 9 to 5 UK tour, and plays the accordion.


  • Trevor Mires/Nathaniel Cross project with Sam Leak, Tom Hancock, Hugh Wilkinson, Pat Levett
  • With Matt Anderson, Martin Longhawn, Steve Hanley (more videos in this post
  • With Morgan Brothers Big Band
  • Leeds University Big Band at North Sea Jazz Festival 


  • Trailer for Smells Like Team Spirit (Team Players) (buy it
  • Selection from All-American (Team Players) (buy it
  • Selection from Now & Again (AJ Brown)

Arrangements and transcriptions

John has arranged for big band and smaller groups in a variety of styles. His work has been performed by Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra, Morgan Brothers Big Band, Leeds University Union Big Band, and others. He also creates custom arrangements for amateur or school ensembles which may require unusual instrumentation or a careful balance of difficulty levels.

  • Under the sea: from The Little Mermaid. “Ariel, listen to me…”
  • Baby on Board: from the episode of The Simpsons where Homer was in a barbershop quartet. Originally arranged for big band and 4-part barbershop, featuring the saxophone section on vocals. Here’s an extract of London’s Morgan Brothers Big Band playing an instrumental version:

Bass gear

John is an endorsing artist for Nordstrand Audio and uses three of their basses (J, fretless, 5 string P). His preferred strings are a years-old set of Thomastik-Infeld flatwounds. He uses Aguilar and Genz Benz amps and cabs.


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